Sunday, 10 Dec 2023

LPL suspends April 4 games to commemorate COVID-19 victims

As announced on the official LPL Twitter, the Chinese League of Legends league will suspend all play on April 4. This comes after the Chinese government declared April 4 as a national mourning day for COVID-19 victims. Subsequently, the LPL also decided to commemorate those who passed during the pandemic, as well as the health workers fighting it. It has postponed the three series scheduled for that day to April 20, extending the LPL split by a day.

An already heavily delayed split

The one-day extension won’t mean much in terms of the split length, as it has already been heavily extended. After just one week of play, the COVID-19 outbreak led the LPL to indefinitely cancel the league on January 19. With China being the epicenter of the virus, the organizers felt this was the right decision to prevent the spread of the disease. The LPL resumed its split on March 9, with games played online instead of in the arena.

However, to catch up to other leagues who hadn’t suspended their season, the organizers had to change the format. Instead of playing six days a week, the rest of the split was extended to seven days a week. Additionally, instead of two series per day, it has played three series on each day of competition.

If nothing special comes up, it is projected that the regular split will now finish by April 20. This comes two weeks after the EU and NA splits conclude and around the same time as the LCK. However, this is quite unusual for the LPL, since they usually began playoffs way before the other regions.

Last Spring split’s playoffs started on April 4 and ended around two weeks later. It is currently unknown when this sping’s playoffs will start, but many expect they will do so as soon as the regular season finishes. Additionally, it’s unclear whether the organizers will make any changes to the format to make up for the lost time.

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